Phi Sigma Pi fundraises for Autism Cares

One co-ed fraternity organized a chairtable soccer tournament.

Whether the brothers played offense or defense, the Phi Sigma Pi honors co-ed fraternity scored one for the Autism Cares Foundation during its eighth annual ICR Philly Cup soccer match.

On Nov. 9, the Phi Sigma Pi members competed against teams from Rutgers, Maryland, North Texas, Michigan State, West Chester, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Drexel and St. Joseph’s University. The match, held at the student pavilion, was a three-day event that included a welcome dinner and cruise on the Ben Franklin Yacht.

“Planning was very tedious,” said Gianluca Pugliese, a Phi Sigma Pi brother and kinesiology major. “We had over 200 brothers traveling from chapters that stayed with us over the two weekend nights. Some even flew in from Texas. Fortunately, I had about two months to prepare [and] great friends to give me a helping hand.”

The ICR Philly Cup soccer match is a collaborative effort between the Phi Sigma Pi Alpha Lambda and Gamma Xi chapters at Drexel and Temple that benefits their 2013 philanthropic cause, the Autism Cares Foundation.

“The Alpha Epsilon chapter from West Chester University won, beating the Alpha Beta chapter of the University of Maryland, who beat our Temple University chapter in the semifinals,” Pugliese said.

A portion of each participant’s $45 entrance fee was donated to Autism Cares, which provides services to help children and adults with autism lead normal lives. The foundation’s activities include team sports, such as soccer, as well as access to the arts and educational resources.

In addition to the donation, participants heard from representatives from the foundation and had the option to participate in a charity run the morning of the match.

Pugliese said Phi Sigma Pi collectively raised more than $3,000 for the Autism Cares Foundation.

Along with raising funds for Autism Cares, the brothers had other activities scheduled during the event. With brothers coming from all over the country, Temple and Drexel Phi Sigma Pi members housed tournament members and hosted a dinner to welcome their guests, as well as a closing brunch.

In addition to the mealtime events, contestants came together on the Ben Franklin Yacht Saturday night for dinner and dancing.

“Overall, it was one of my favorite weekends,” Pugliese said. “I made tons of friends from other schools around the county that I still keep in touch with now, while raising money for an excellent cause.”

Lora Strum can be reached at 

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